Story of Healing

Keona Mock

Vernon Parish

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"Children’s Hospital breathed new life into Keona, and now she shines bright with her infectious smile and personality. "

Here at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, our patients are extraordinary! Just take five-year-old Keona, who spent her first days of life in Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Within two weeks of being released, she suffered a traumatic injury that caused a severe brain bleed, broken ribs, and fractured legs. Baby Keona spent the next month on life support at Children’s Hospital New Orleans.

Because of severe damage to her trachea, her only hope for breathing again was a tracheotomy, a surgically placed incision in the airway that allowed her to breathe. 

The Department of Children and Family Services of Louisiana reached out to a foster family, the Mocks, in 2015 and asked if we they were willing to take a medically fragile baby that would require extensive medical training in airway management. Tammy Mock knew that God had been preparing her and her husband for a little girl that would need them in a special way. That’s why they took Keona in and adopted her in August of 2017.

In December 2017, Children’s Hospital surgeons performed another complex procedure on Keona, using her own ribs to graft a trachea so she would no longer need a tracheostomy to breathe. She was kept medically sedated during the first ten days until the grafts healed. Under intense medical supervision, Keona had to meet several milestones before she could be cleared to return home to completely heal.

Children’s Hospital breathed new life into Keona, and now she shines bright with her infectious smile and personality. Because of generous donors and supporters stories, like Keona’s are brought to life every day at Children’s Hospital. 

Now six years old, Keona still visits her friends at Children’s Hospital New Orleans and loves gymnastics and playing with her siblings.

Learn more about ENT services and the Tracheostomy team at Children’s Hospital New Orleans.